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Shell solid fails miserably

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I am trying to draw a solid that will be the model for a thermo-formed plastic part. I have created a solid 3d shape by extruding a 3d poly to the required depth. I then created two simple 3d polygons which I extruded and subtracted from the main solid.

I then try to shell the solid and it fails with the frustratingly ambiguous error message "shell solid failed" How should I create a shell if VW won't do it, and won't tell me what's wrong?

I have no idea why it failed.

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I didn't know one could extrude 3D polys--you sure that's what you are doing?

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Yes, it's a closed "3d polygon" drawn on the working plane and then extruded.

I make a workaround that hopefully will be ok. I think the problem is when you have too many planes intersecting at one point (I had 4). The algorithm just can't figure out what to do.

I changed my geometry a bit and it worked.

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If you used 2D polygons instead of 3D polygons, does it make any difference?

I've done a lot of thermoforming mold design, and have mostly used 2D polygons or rectangles for the extruded profiles.

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